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Clinic Nurses do Thriving Business; Dart-throwing Patients Regain Health

Clinic Nurses do Thriving Business; Dart-throwing Patients Regain Health

By Judy Rush 

Published by October 23, 1958 

“Duck!” shouted a lady in white and without question I did. Above my head a “dart” hit the bulletin board. 

 I regained my equilibrium and looked around for the explanation of the incident. Three pajama-clad patients, too well to be confined in the clinic but waiting for the doctor to come and pronounce final release, were testing a “dart machine” which they had made from a large syringe bulb, some corks and a few straight pins.  

On the more serious side however, the clinic, a 15-bed, war surplus unit, treats over 575 house patients for disorders ranging from scarlet fever to sunburn, including over 62 different diagnoses. The average person stays three and a half days. Outpatients treated by the clinic staff totaled 7904 last year and the five doctors serving the school, Drs. John Potts, James Losey, Ivan Bohlman, W. L. Unterseher, and Glen Rice consulted with 725 Patients.  

Walla Walla college was the first denominational college to have a separate building for the sick, pointed out Miss Katty Joy Fenton, new director of health service. The facilities include two wards, a treatment room, a nurse’s apartment, a small kitchen and offices. 

Besides caring for the patients on morning shifts all week, Miss Fenton is responsible for purchasing drugs and supplies, keeping an accurate record of all the patients and scheduling the assistant nurses, Eleanor Bahnmiller, Anita Steffanson, Grace Wetter, Virginia Pires, and Margie Hall. Also contributing to the success of the institution are the aides, Dera Hamilton, Jane Weber, Sharron Heidinger, Rae Campbell and Beverly Fjarli. 

Answering innumerable questions is one of Miss Fenton’s tasks also, and some questions brighten the day with a chuckle. For instance, early one morning she lifted the phone to hear the voice of a anonymous Sittner-ite say plaintively, “I swallowed a piece of Kleenex and I don’t feel very good!” Miss Fenton calmly explained that liquids and an apple or cracker were the best remedy for the discomfort, but the condition was not a serious impediment to health. 

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One of the most unusual requests came last Monday when two students wanted a penicillin shot for their rat. Miss Genton went to the biology department and took care of the sick one, “Now I’m shooting four-legged rats!” she said. 

To take care of over 240 patients a year requiring laboratory tests, Jack Rudy, medical technologist, is on call as he fits in this work with his regular school program. 

Last year the clinic set a record by treating over 200 patients in two weeks during the flu epidemic.  

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